Former New York Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato speaks up for the Catholic Church

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato wrote:

To the Editor:

As a Catholic, I am appalled at the now-daily assaults by the liberal media against the church.

There is no question that certain Catholic clergymen abused children and that certain members of the church’s hierarchy failed to deal with those abuses properly. That failure was based primarily on the mistaken belief that pedophiles can be cured. At the time, that mistaken belief was supported in large measure by the psychiatric community. It has since been rejected.

For the last decade, the Archdiocese of New York and dioceses across New York State have been working assiduously to accept guilt when warranted, atone for those mistakes and, most important, to take corrective action to ensure that they do not happen again.

Over the last few months, several cases have cropped up that took place decades ago and long before the church’s all-out effort to acknowledge, make amends for and rectify its past failures. Some have seized upon those cases to attack the church anew and with frightening vigor. Those attacks are unwarranted and unfair.

Such cases, which will continue to arise, do not meant that the church’s healing crusade has been discontinued but rather are cases that took place during an unfortunate time in the church’s history that is now over.

To simply reject out of hand the church’s extensive and intense program to heal and correct suggests the possibility of an anti-Catholic agenda more concerned with Catholic teachings than with child abuse.

Alfonse M. D’Amato
New York, April 29, 2010

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